What else can be said about Ian Fleming that hasnâ€™t already been said? Heâ€™s the creator of James Bond, he redefined the spy genre and he has inspired many authors to create great spy books, like Robert Ludlum- creator of the Bourne trilogy, and (in a way, more on that later) John le Carre- creator of A Small Town in Germany and The Constant Gardener. In this special edition e-magazine, we delve deep into the legend that was Ian Fleming and his big role in the spy fiction sub-genre. From his inspirations, to his first Bond book, we will discuss everything there is to know about THE MAN BEHIND JAMES BOND.
Table of contents: 2- Introduction 3- History of Spy Fiction 5- Ian Fleming & Casino Royale 7- Fame, Copycats, and Inspiration 9- Legacy 10- Annotated Bibliography
Spies in a Magazine created by Donald Blofeld. Editor: Kalrissa Octopussy Editor in Chief: Q McDaniels Guy who gives money to the magazine: Milo Jaws
Written by: Travis Oddjob
In order to understand Ian Fleming and his character, one has to start at the beginning. The history of the spy fiction sub-genre is one of the most exciting subgenres in the literary realm. The interest in it arose about the same time as the first modern intelligence agencies were created. As a large amount of information became publicly known, particularly during the many 20th Century spy scandals about national spy agencies and real life secret agents, public interest in a profession largely off limits to news reporting soared.
The natural consequence of these revelations, and the secrecy and intrigue that surrounded the spies and their profession contributed to the creation of a popular concept of a secret agent. This image was built upon and enhanced by late 20th Century and 21st Century literature, and the cinema.
Rudyard Kipling’s novel- Kim, was the first notable novel that dwelled in political conflict and espionage, in this case The Great Game, which was a term used for the strategic rivalry and conflict that emerged between the British Empire and Russian empire’s battle for supremacy in central Asia. Cover of the book “Kim”.
Many of the novels up until Ian Fleming came to the scene were presented in a realistic manner and were inspired, or more or less centered, on World War I, World War II, and The Cold War, such as Graham Greeneâ€™s classic The Third Man, which presented the underlying battle between Russia and the West for control of Austria after World War II. It was also adapted as a feature film starring Orson Welles.
Still from The Third Man. Click Picture to see the trailer!
Ian Fleming was a Commander in Naval Intelligence during the Second World War After the war ended, he started writing using the knowledge he acquired from his work in intelligence during the war for inspiration. In 1953, Casino Royale and Ian Fleming were introduced to England. Ian Fleming. Photo by Howell Conant. 1953
Written by Catherine Moneypenny
Casino Royale wasn’t as successful in America as it was in Britain, but the book and character will soon prove to be a force to be reckoned with around the world. Casino Royale presents us the character of James Bond- a gambler, womanizer, and spy, who is under orders from his boss M to beat the Soviet backed Le Chiffre at a baccarat game in France. If Bond defeats Le Chiffre, his gambling debts would force the Soviet espionage agency he is working for called SMERSH to find and kill him. James Bond is aided by the beautiful Vesper Lynd, the Frenchman spy Robert Mathis, and the American CIA agent Felix Leiter. The book subtly hints at the troubles between the Russians and Americans during that time, but never makes it apparent or the main focus in the novel. It is all about James Bond, how he has to defeat the evil bad guy (Le Chiffre), and his now famous relationship with women; the ending in Casino Royale serves as a future reference for Bond’s cold approach to women, mainly because he fell in love with a double agent in Vesper Lynd, the book’s main ‘Bond girl’. Before the James Bond books started being adapted in the 1960’s, Casino Royale was adapted into a 1 hour television series for Climax! in 1954, one year after the book’s release. There were many changes done in the television series… • • •
For starters, James Bond is American, while Felix Leiter is British! They changed the name of James Bond into Jimmy Bond. M, Moneypenny, and Vesper are nowhere to be found.
Still from Casino Royale (1954). Click picture to watch a scene!
Casino Royale was also adapted into two feature films, the first one being the 1967 spoof starring Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, and Orson Welles, and the 2006 version starring Daniel Craig and Eva Green. While the 1967’s version was a spoof loosely based on the novel, the 2006’s version basically updated the novel with current political intrigue while ignoring the Soviet/communist subtleties from the book. They also changed a couple of things for overwhelming dramatic effect, such as the ending, and character situations and names (like Le Chiffre’s mistress, who was known as No. 1860 in the novel, but is called Valenka in the film).
(Left)Peter Sellers in Casino Royale, 1967 (Right) Daniel Craig in Casino Royale 2006
What was Ian Fleming’s inspiration for the character of James Bond and Casino Royale? James Bond is supposedly based on Sir William Stephenson, a real life spy and teacher of Ian Fleming. Many of the places and villains are modeled after stories from friends at Boodle’s, which was the gentleman’s club Fleming was a member in. Vesper Lynd was modeled after Krystyna Skarbek, a real life agent from Poland, while the basis for Casino Royale was during a trip to the Estoril Casino, which was filled with agents from different countries; he fantasized beating some of the agents at the card games.
Written by: Jenaveve Goodhead
After President Kennedy told the American public that From Russia with Love was one of his top ten bed time reading books, the curiosity was overwhelming, and soon thereafter the popularity of James Bond was all over the place. Ian Fleming started to become a household name in America. While the movies were used as device to calm the pressures of The Cold War and such, it was very clear that the Spy fiction sub-genre had changed, focusing more on a singular he rather than complicated political intrigue. But with this change, came a number of copycats and parodies of James Bond, both in novels and films.
Literary: • • • • • • • •
Alligator Agent 0008 Kiss the Girls and Make them Spy The Girl With the Golden Bouffant Dracula Cha Cha Cha Night Probe! Planetary Etc.
Cinema: • • • • • • •
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine Our Man Flint Agent from H.A.R.M. The Silencers I Spy The last of the Secret Agents Etc.
Dvd cover for The Silencers.
But apart from the copycats, James Bond inspired some writers to create characters that were the anti-James Bond, but retained its spirit. Writers such as John Le Carre, Len Deighton, and more recently Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum (who was acknowledged Ian Fleming as his biggest inspiration), strayed from the sensationalist and over-the-top James Bond formula that was somewhat heightened by the films, and went back to the heavy political intrigue that was prevalent in pre-50’s and 60’s spy fiction but nevertheless centered on singular character that starred in more than one novel and was a spy. John Le Carre did it with his George Smiley character; Tom Clancy did it with Jack Ryan, and Robert Ludlum did with Jason Bourne. Even if most of the anti-James Bond writers strayed away from the formula, they still didn’t abandon it completely and were ultimately inspired it.
(Left) Book cover of The Bourne Identity (Middle) Book cover of Call For the Dead (Right) Book cover for Patriot Games
Nowadays, it seems that James Bond still has not faded, apart from the successful movie franchise; he has continued to inspire people in other mediums, such as video games. The Solid Snake character from the mega popular Metal Gear Solid series, created by Hideo Kojima, is a true testament to the Bond character. A cold and deadly spy that gets involved with femme fatales and has an array of gadgets and guns at his disposal, dealing with big companies that are lead by odd villains. The third game in the series titled Snake Eater even features a title sequence that resembles the Bond title sequences, song and all!
Logo for the first Metal Gear Solid game. Click the picture to see the title sequence from Snake Eater!
We have sadly reached the conclusion of this special edition copy of Spies in A Magazine. Ian Fleming’s input in the spy fiction subgenre started something very, very big. Inspiring dozen of people in different mediums, who would’ve guessed that a man who wasn’t known in America would become one of the biggest names not only in America, but worldwide? His James Bond character has survived for more than 50 years and is still going strong and as popular as ever. It seems that there is no end to the character or Ian Fleming’s legacy. And that my friends, is a good thing.
Annotated Bibliography 1- Goodman, Ellis. "History of Spies in Fiction." Bearanyburden.com. Web. 2- "Spy Fiction." Economicexpert.com. Web. 3- Kurtus, Ron. "Relationship between John F. Kennedy and James Bond 007." School-for-champions.com. Web. 4- Goodman, Ellis. "History of Spies in Fiction." Bearanyburden.com. Web. 5- Fleming, Ian. Casino Royale. Jonathan Cape, 1953. Print. 6- Rhodes, Andrew J. “James Bond and the Spy genre”.
jamesbondresearch.co.uk/Spy.html. Web. 7- Hooker, Mark T. "An emerging trend in Spy Fiction: Retired James Bond Become Ian Fleming." Spywise.net. Web. 8- Images.google.com. Web. 9- Wikipedia.org. Web. 10- Youtube.com. Web.